IT SEEMS a great pity that we cannot narrow communication down to the words themselves; our hearts – the seat of our intent – betray us many times, and our body language gives us away, if the other person is perceptive enough to pick it up:
“The most important thing in communication is hearing what isn’t said.”
— Peter Drucker (1909–2005)
God has this way of compelling us to be honest. If we are not, our body language is detectable, and we will give ourselves away. We should want to honour God by our integrity, though realism suggests – in our fallen world – that we will need to feign some things.
There is a thing we need to know about integrity, however. If we, by our body language, are too incongruent, too often – our outer selves to our inner selves – we alone will suffer the consequences.
Integrity will be our best friend if we invest in it: by investing we reap more and more integrity – more and more oneness, our outer selves a mirror as to our inner selves.
Respecting the Role of Body Language
Gestures of all kinds are the expressions of our hearts – way deep below our consciousness – that will betray the lies that we speak by our words and actions that lack integrity.
When we become studiers of our mannerisms – looking away from people when we are talking, folding our arms in conversation, sitting back or sitting forward, etc – we can begin to understand what we are really communicating; what others are picking up whether consciously or not.
If we wish to be trustworthy, respectable, a good friend, someone safe, we ought to know the incongruence between our words and body language. It can teach us a lot about ourselves. In fact, we may be able to detect that God is using our body language as a way he talks to us; highlighting inconsistencies of morality – lies from truth.
Respecting our body language is also reason for understanding others’ body language – if we struggle with integrity we can forgive the other person who struggles in the selfsame way.
Perhaps we can see it as a blessing that God has given us our very own judge and jury – not to condemn us, but to teach us. Life is the learning ground.
We can learn a lot about ourselves through watching our body language. We can see that God has given us body language as a tool for learning integrity: our outer expression lining up with our inner expression.
© 2013 S. J. Wickham.